A Relatively High 34% Will Spend "Less"
on Gifts This Year
(probably has something to do with employment and
the no inflation increases in food, medical, tuition, fuel, clothing...)
By Lydia Saad
PRINCETON, NJ -- Americans currently predict they will spend $714 on Christmas gifts this year -- well exceeding the $638 they forecast in November a year ago for the 2009 holiday season, but still trailing the pre-recessionary November forecasts recorded over most of the last decade.
The findings are from a Gallup poll conducted Nov. 4-7, 2010, in which respondents were asked to predict the total amount they will spend on Christmas gifts this year. The current forecast is nearly identical to Americans' October prediction of $715.
According to Gallup modeling, if the figure holds at this level through December, that would point to a roughly 2% year-over-year increase in holiday sales. Further, if consumers' spending estimate increases between November and December, as it typically does, actual retail sales could improve by closer to 4%, similar to the long-term average.
A Relatively High 34% Will Spend "Less" on Gifts This Year
Although the majority of Americans, 52%, say they will spend the same on gifts this year as in 2009, roughly a third of Americans, 34%, say they will spend less, compared with 12% saying they will spend more. That 22-percentage-point gap is nearly double the average 13-point difference between these figures over the past 20 years -- providing a note of caution to Americans' dollar spending forecast.
The current gap contrasts with a 39-point gap found in November 2008, amid the turmoil of the global economic collapse. However, in periods of relative economic prosperity, such as from 1995 through 2000, the figures were about even. Link to report with charts